Travels With Sandy

For one starring role in 'Annie,' excellence is all about loyalty, training and knowing when to bark

March 18, 2007|By J. Wynn Rousuck | J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic

PHILADELPHIA // The two stately blond actors are standing in a parking garage across from the theater when a minivan rolls by and slows down, the driver's mouth opening with the shock of recognition. The vehicle backs up and stops. The driver opens the doors so two little girls inside can get a look.

ANNIE / / Tuesday through Sunday / / Hippodrome Theatre / / 410-547-SEAT or BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com

ONLINE:

To see a multimedia slide show of the dog stars, go to baltimoresun.com / annie

The sun came out for all of Butler's tomorrows

In addition to Annie and Sandy, another rescued orphan will appear on stage during Wednesday's production of Annie: Butler the dog.

The exuberant Cairn terrier, who was adopted from the Humane Society of Baltimore County, will make a cameo appearance during that evening's performance at the Hippodrome.

As the story goes, someone left Butler in a crate in front of the Reisterstown shelter Sept. 28 amid a terrible thunderstorm (the evening when a tornado touched down in Severna Park and 38,000 Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers lost power).

About 3 a.m., an employee found Butler, drenched and shivering, and brought him in from the cold. A veterinarian for the nonprofit discovered that the dog had cataracts, and a grant provided funds for a veterinary ophthalmologist to examine and treat Butler.

Butler was adopted, and the plucky (and lucky) dog eventually won the chance to appear in the show through a competition sponsored by Broadway Across America, Petco and Jack FM.

Butler will be "signing" autographs during intermission and after the show. The Actors

Brian Michael Hoffman

Born:

Sept. 19, 1975, in Washington

Education:

Baltimore School for the Arts (1993); bachelor of fine arts degree, Syracuse University (1997)

Career:

Made his debut at age 9 as a raccoon in Sleeping Beauty at Liberty Showcase Theatre; regional theater productions include Sweeney Todd, Big River and Grease; national tours include A Christmas Carol and more than 1,250 performances of Annie.

Lola

Born:

Around December 1998

Adopted:

From the Connecticut Humane Society

Stage career:

Began in 1999 as understudy for the role of Sandy in Annie

Favorite toy:

Plush chicken with squeaker

Mikey

Born:

Around April 2002

Adopted:

From the Windsor, Conn., municipal dog pound

Stage career:

Began in 2005 as Lola's understudy

Favorite toy:

Stuffed monkey with hula skirt

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